Finding new prospects and engaging them isn’t always a linear process. Nowadays, sales teams have a number of channels and tools at their disposal for reaching out to and monitoring hot leads or prospects—at every stage of their journey. One of those tools is content.
Salespeople can use content distribution channels like social media and blog feeds to discover and track new potential customers, start or continue conversations, tailor relevant content, and add value outside of traditional sales channels.
How, exactly? Here are some steps that sales can take to be seen as a thought leader.
Create Twitter Lists
Twitter is one of the largest and most readily available listening tools on the internet. It’s a great way not only to track what people are saying about your brand, but also to search for and reach out to your prospects.
By going to search.twitter.com, you can identify the conversations happening both in your network and outside of your network on Twitter that are relevant to your vertical or industry.
Twitter also allows you to create Twitter lists, which an be private or public, to track potential sales opportunities or conversations happening in real-time with the people you place on these lists. More on interacting with these people below.
Follow Blog Feeds
Another way to stay on top of industry conversations and content is to subscribe to your prospects’ blog. While one of the main purposes of every good business blog is to provide value and address the needs of potential customers, a prospect’s needs and pain points can also be revealed in the content they choose to publish.
Studying the kind of content that your prospects are producing to see where you could potentially add value is a fantastic opportunity to delight them. Staying up to date on their blog will also show them you’ve done your homework and care enough to invest time in understanding their business.
Join the Social Conversations
Once you learn how to identify conversations on social media and blogs, you can start participating in them. If there is a Google Hangout, Twitter conversation, or webinar happening that you found through your research, take part in that conversation. Add value like you would during a sales call, ask questions, and nurture these potential relationships with your prospects. Joining a Linkedin Group is another great way to engage and add value.
While engaging in conversations online can be a great way to kick off an an initial conversation with a potential customer, don’t come on too strong with your sales pitch. The goal is to be seen as a thought leader and industry expert. If you jump to the sales messages too soon, you risk compromising the relationship.
As modern-day sales professionals, you have a broad range of social networks, tools, and opportunities accessible for free. The barriers of developing relationships with potential customers is no longer limited by the “who you know” mantra or by how persistent you are with cold calling every day.
Being able to find, track, and infiltrate the conversations that are pertinent to your sales objectives is an essential skill that anyone with an internet connection can master.